How did I come to write for a printmaking magazine?
Pressing Matters is a wonderful, rather new printmaking magazine, that started in 2017. Their last article is always The Story Behind the Print, and while reading one earlier in the year, it occurred to me that I had a print with a story. Why not offer an article for that position? What a buzz to have my proposal accepted. Not for the coveted Story Behind the Print, to be sure, but to be included in the magazine as a small Bits & Pieces article for the August 2019 issue was such an honour.
After the article and images has been posted off, and the text had been edited and finalised, there came the longish wait for the physical magazine to be delivered, and I could finally see what my print looked like in print. The wait was reminiscent of an aspect of printmaking that is almost addictive – the reveal.
The Reveal is a compelling, almost adictive feature of printmaking that draws me back, over and over again. It is that moment when the press has run over an inked plate for the first time – actually any time – and you pull back the blanket, and lift up the paper to see how it turned out – a moment of anticipation and tension.
The wait is perhaps not quite so stressful, but full of anticipation none the less.
So here are screen shots of the Images and article, as written by the editor from my material. (P.9, Pressing Matters Issue 8, 2019).
I didn’t have this website published at the time, so the one listed below the article is for my profile page on the Peace of Green website. Peace of Green (or PoG as it is affectionately know to its members) is an artists collective in my nearest village, Maleny, Queensland, Australia.
Now for the full story – or How the print edition of In Memoriam Rien Hos 1916 – 2017 came to be made.
Rein Hos was my mother, who lived in Albany, Western Australia, until she died at 101 years in August 2017. She was Oma to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Towards the end of the wake after her funeral, my daughter and son went for a drive, revisiting places they knew from childhood while staying with Oma. In particular they stopped at one of her old addresses, now a vacant block, with the house demolished but some garden plants still left growing.
They wandered around for a bit, and my daughter picked some sprigs of lavender. Which she left in the car. I saw the lavender next morning, as we prepared to return home, and promptly claimed it. “I can print with that!” Lavender is a lovely subject for collagraph printmaking, and this was no ordinary lavender. It had come from what remained of one of Oma’s gardens. Wrapped in damp tissue to help it keep, the lavender returned with me, all the way to Queensland (on the other side of Australia, about as far away as one can get from Albany).
Back home, a few days later this special lavender was made into a collagraph printing plate, and over the next few months worked on to make it print-ready. In all, 16 prints were pulled. Usually I sell my collagraph printing plates (they wear out in printing), as well as the prints, but gradually the idea formed that this was one edition that I would never sell. The prints have a personal significance and I decided that I would only ever give them away.
Which I did. Different versions of this variable print edition were offered to Oma’s children and grandchildren, and then packaged up and posted to their various addresses, mostly in Western Australia. The remaining prints can be given away as I see fit, and I am keeping three versions. The plate also stays with me, a memorial to my mother, Rien Hos.
Three versions came about because I kept changing my mind as to which I liked best – no coloured background, a lavender coloured background, or a paler version. The little bit of colour you see in the plain one above is an artefact of being on the web. It’s not in the original scan and I don’t know how to make it go away (yet).
And just a little thing to note in the images. There is a wobble in the stems just under the flower heads. Lavender is a tough plant, but by the time I started the plate, the lavender had wilted a bit, and I couldn’t get the stems to stay straightened out.
Image details: In Memoriam Rien Hos 1916 – 2017, © Jacky Lowry,
Collagraph printing plate; and collagraph prints no.s 1/16; 2/16; 4/16
Image size: 15.5 cm x 15.5 cm
Paper size: 26.5 cm x 29.5 cm
Not for sale
Jacky Lowry is a printmaker artist, with a passion for working with real plant material. Her favourite printmaking techniques are Collagraphs and Photopolymer Etching. Sign up for Jacky’s Newsletter here.